COVID-19 Pandemic Communique – 16 April 2020

All College Presidents met via videoconference to discuss issues associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Colleges are located in both Australia and New Zealand. Presidents noted Australia’s continued low growth rate of new COVID-19 cases and the advice that the country will remain in lockdown for a further four weeks. All Colleges expressed their appreciation to all of Australia’s health care workers throughout the crisis.

Department of Health Update Dr Andrew Singer AM, advised of discussions with jurisdictions concerning the impact of the pandemic on clinical training; the PPE stockpile and importance of managing health throughout the pandemic, especially persons with chronic illness.

New Zealand Update: Dr John Bonning, ACEM President and Chair, Council of Medical Colleges, New Zealand described a full meeting of NZ based Colleges noting the concerns about PPE access, Indigenous populations and continuing the care for all people. The country remains in stage 4, lockdown.

Primary Care Update Associate Professor Ewen McPhee noted the increasing concerns about continuity of care, travel bans affecting interstate referrals, and the need to consider the impact on the training workforce where progression was delayed due to changes in rotations.

Trainee Impact Project: Dr Jenkins referred to a horizon project which is underway to consider the impact of the pandemic on the skills training pathway. The position statement on trainee redeployment using a skills stratification approach is set to be released from CPMC 17 April.

Peer Support- Hand- N- Hand Project College Presidents heard from Dr Tahnee Bridson on a peer support service available to all HCW available at: https://twitter.com/HandnHandAU

College Updates: RANZCR has issued a new position statement on the use of CT scans in COVID diagnosis. Full statement here: https://www.ranzcr.com/whats-on/news-media/388-new-position-statement-released-advice-on-appropriate-use-of-ct-throughout-the-covid-19-pandemic

CPMC: Dr Jenkins advised that the May meeting would be restructured virtually. A statement on the importance of managing the health of all Australians will be issued following the discussion about the longer term impact on population health if people do not continue to receive monitoring and treatment.

Released by Dr Jenkins Chair, CPMC

CONTACT: Angela Magarry, CPMC CEO, ceo@cpmc.edu.au